Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tips to Make Your Hot Sex Scenes Erotic by Trish Owens

Scarlet is about erotic romance--our readers want to know about every kiss, caress and touch, and how the point of view (POV) character responds, reacts, and experiences those kisses, touches and caresses. So a pet peeve for me is when authors send me an erotic romance with barely half a page of sex. Talk about wham, bam, thank you m'am!

So, how long should you plan on making your sex scenes? Think of at least a few paragraphs for each part. The first kiss can be very detailed, then first base, then second base. The actual 'act' can be a couple of paragraphs. The fireworks should have their own paragraph. Of course, more is better. We can always cut out what isn't needed. We've never rejected anyone for writing too much sex!

A "first sex" scene should be many pages since the characters are getting to know each other in a whole new way. There are lots to describe, perhaps compare to past lovers. You can add in dialogue. Allowing the characters to communicate and get to know each other really connects them to the reader (and adds word count!)

Any additional scenes should show some variety. Add in a different position, let them try something new, or somehow show growth in their character. Maybe the heroine is shy, and the last sex scene she's grown to the point that she is comfortable enough to be in charge in the bedroom. Readers love variety. They also love the darker side of sex, so don't be afraid to allow your characters to stray to the kinky side!

And lastly, make sure the language is frank and detailed. Technical body parts you learned in school aren't what readers want. They don't want flowery descriptions for the delicious bits, either! If you're unsure what the buzz words are, you should be picking up some of our sizzlin' Scarlets to broaden your horizons and see what the editors are looking for!!

Trish Owens
Scarlet Rose Editor

7 comments:

Taryn Kincaid said...

Great advice, Trish!

Emotion is key, although sometimes we forget this when figuring out the logistics and mechanics!

I'm reading a paranormal (though not an erotic paranormal) by a well-known author right now, and although the contact between the h/h gets steadily more sensuous and steamy, they do not actually kiss or make love until well past page 250 in a 385-page book! (The hero has issues with touch due to his paranormal nature and the danger to the heroine.)But the build-up is masterful and the pay-off is delicious, allowing the hero to savor every nuance and moment of every stroke and caress.

Ju Dimello said...

Hi Trish, a wonderful piece of wisdom ! Thanks for sharing.

I have a general question in regards to description..

Is it okay to use a mix of flowery phrases and explicit ones to avoid repetition?

Diana said...

One thing I'd add to Trish's post is that while showing the action/emotion, don't forget that there is more to stimulation than from the waist down. Lots of authors forget to show the characters descriptions during sex and readers sometimes forget what the characters look like. By showing facial expressions/reactions to what is going on, you kill two birds with one stone--showing emotion and showing physical descriptions. Remind the reader the hero has blue eyes or the heroine has long brown hair.

Diana Carlile
Sr. Editor, Scarlet Rose

Randi Alexander said...

Great advice, Trish. I love writing the multi-page, multi-hour, multi-position sex scenes. But I've never consciously connected the character arcs in the storyline with the hero and heroine's exploration and growth in the bedroom. I'm going to reread my latest manuscript with this in mind. Thanks!

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